Social media and C&B : are you one of the brave few ?

Credit : MBEConnect.com - 2011

Credit : MBEConnect.com – 2011

Catching up on some reading I found this post from fellow HR blogger and consultant Nicole Le Maire very interesting. In Social Media for Human Resources professionals ? Really !, Nicole reacts to the results of a survey by Carter Morris on how people working in HR use social media.

She was shocked by some of the numbers – and so was I when I read her article.  The survey was about how HR pros use social media on a personal level and to plan their career.

Interestingly, LinkedIn came in as the most used network. It is, after all, the largest online professional networking site, and on a personal level, I can attest that having a thorough and credible LinkedIn profile highly raises one’s visibility. I was found via LinkedIn for my last 3 corporate jobs – and these positions were based in countries where I was not residing at the time ! Currently, I regularly get approached by potential clients for my training, consulting and speaking services, via my LinkedIn profile too. So yes, a great LinkedIn profile will help.

But as I regularly mention to my HR friends who are looking for jobs, whether openly or discreetly if they are already employed, just having a great profile is not enough. You have to be active on social media too, so that you have a chance of “showing up” on the radar of headhunters, of potential clients or of possible partners. Otherwise your profile and achievements get buried under the massive flow  of information that is coming to us each day.

And there, the numbers were truly shocking : 46% of the HR people who responded to the survey post less than once a week ! And that includes all self-declared Facebook activity ! Nicole on this point is right : as HR pros, if we don’t at least know and sometimes use the same tools as our employees and managers do, we will be left behind – and this will contribute to the isolation of the function and its struggle to get access to that famous table, even more so as companies hire more and more Millenials.

I am unfortunately not surprised to see these results. In the GCC, social performance management is struggling to emerge. Analytics are mentioned a bit more often, but rarely practised properly. But I’m sure that if HR and Compensation pros were more active in social media, following trends in gaming approaches and their impact on education and the corporate wold, and how HR analytics can lead to stunning improvements in company performance, they’d be more inclined to investigate and implement these programs in their organisations – and thus bring to themselves the credibility that they crave.

I once wrote an article on how to learn C&B for free. It involves following blogs and webinars and other sources of online information. Beyond books, which are a great way to dive deeply into a specific topic, this is how we stay current and aware of the latest thinking. This is how we learn of new trends and open our perspective. This is how we are perceived as solid, trustworthy professionals.

Finally, I will quote Nicole directly :

For the last two questions, readers were asked if they regularly read a Human Resources blog and if they wrote Human Resources blogs. JUST over 33% read blogs, but fewer than 5% of responders wrote blogs !!

Sadly, from my own experience I have to concur with this answer, and even give it a worse rating for Compensation & Benefits professionals. I recently produced a list of 7 essential blogs for Total Rewards professionals… I would have put more in the list, but many of the C&B blogs I used to read now are updated once every 2 months or stopped being active altogether.

As far as I know, I am the only blogger focused on C&B in the Middle East – and also have yet to find a blog focused on these topics in Asia. (Please, please do share in the comments if you know of active C&B blogs in the MEA or Asia regions. Even European ones are difficult to come by !). Yet I am craving for other bloggers ! When there is a community, new ideas emerge, collaboration takes place, and we all benefit – the readers, as well as the authors.

I know how hard it is to stick to a schedule of regular publication, and at times, struggle with it myself. In a part of the world where many are expats and don’t use English as their native language, this adds to the challenge. And blogging, as well as creating audios or videos, requires sustained effort if we are to reap its long-term rewards.

But this process of creation is really fulfilling in and of itself. So let me use this as an opportunity to announce loud and clear my quest for guest bloggers. I am looking for volunteers who want to write a single article (or a series if they “catch the bug”) without having to commit to developing a full blog.

If you want to share opinions about any topic related to compensation, benefits, performance management, employee engagement, emiratisation and other nationalisation efforts, or even international mobility or remuneration committees, please do let me know by sending me a message here. I won’t accept ideas about a “sales” message promoting your product or service if you are a provider to the HR/C&B community – the content has to be educational or entertaining, not a form of advertisement.

What will you gain by guest blogging on Compensation Insider ?

  • Thought leadership which you can share on your own social media… and your LinkedIn profile (for example by adding the link to it to the Publications section, and/or by uploading the PDF of the article in your Summary).
  • Exposure to my readers and to my social media network – great if you are looking for a job, want to convince your boss that you have the credentials for that long-due promotion, wish to be exposed to potential new clients or simply want to feel good about your 15 minutes of celebrity 🙂
  • Testing your interest in the process of blogging, without having to commit to anything permanent or time-consuming.
  • Very few constraints from my side in terms of content, style, length of the article or even deadline – I know that life creeps in !

What do I gain by hosting your guest posts on Compensation Insider ?

  • The opportunity to showcase new voices to my readers, and give them the opportunity to broaden their thinking by discovering different points of view
  • Maybe some of these articles will fuel my reflections and give me an opportunity to write an answer as a full post or start some form of collaboration with the author such as producing a full interview of them
  • Hopefully, the chance to make new friends or get to know some of my readers or contacts better
  • And obviously, it will give me a few posts that I don’t need to write myself 😉

So what do you say ? Are you up to the challenge, for your personal and professional growth, of writing just one article this year and get it published here on Compensation Insider ? If you are one of the brave few, please do contact me here ! I look forward to reading your thoughts and helping to spread them loud and clear to my incredible community of readers and social media contacts 🙂

PS : On an unrelated note, if you have operations in the Gulf countries, you still have time to participate in the GCC Compensation & Benefits Trends Study 2014. The survey is open until April 7, 2014 and besides receiving a free copy of the report, you have a chance of winning a free pass to the C&B Forum 2014 this coming June in Dubai (valued at 3,000 $) ! More details here.

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